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I participate in a few music interest groups, and was surprized to
find this one.
I met Harry and got to be friends in 1974, after being a fan since
seeing him at a college show not too long before "Taxi" was released.
I was student body president, and ususally got to MC the concerts on
campus, and taped interviews with the artists for the campus/and local
rock FM station in town.
The first night Harry and the band were ever "struck," during the
streaking craze in the mid-'70's was on our campus. I took the band
around campus after the concert to watch the naked show for the rest
of the evening. Before I graduated, Harry came back numerous times
and always drew what he thought was one of the warmest and
enthusiastic crowds on his tours.
The last time I saw him, was a few months before his death, as a guest
at his home.
Tom was on the Penn State campus earlier this year, where I work, but
I was traveling and missed him.
Harry was a great guy with a huge heart. My wife and I miss him.
How many people in this group?
How old is it?
Where are the other band members, now?
And at this point I should ask: is there FAQ for this bunch?
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"Oh, if a man tried to take his time on earth and prove before he died what one man's life could be worth, I wonder what would happen to this world?" -- Harry Chapin, 1942-1981.
The Latest Release
Sniper & Other Love Songs
In 1972, Harry released
Sniper & Other Love Songs.
Thirty years would pass before the album would ever reach the CD format. Sniper was finally re-released in June, 2002.
Originally given a working title of Sweet City Suite, the album tells the story of various characters one might run into in
a city. The album features the original studio versions of Chapin classics "A Better Place to Be" and "Circle." But
perhaps more importantly (as those songs are already well-distributed on compilation CDs), the album features seemingly
lost Chapin stories, including "And the Baby Never Cries," "Burning Herself," "Barefoot Boy," and "Woman Child."
Sniper is for the seasoned Chapin fan. New fans would do better to check out
Live. But for Chapin fans who have reached the level of the
Dance Band on the Titanic album, this is the next step. Slightly over-produced and having a little of the "forced"
feel that some of Harry's studio albums possess, this album does not capture the powerfully live Harry Chapin. Nonetheless,
it captures Harry's great iconoclastic songwriting--Harry takes the story song to new heights here. But the album works best
for those ready for it; don't buy it until you are ready to appreciate it!